On May 28th, it will be 6 years since Certified Cartridges first started offering ecological cartridges at economical prices. To celebrate this occasion, we would like to present six new innovations in the world of printing that we are most excited about.
The handheld printer
Printers designed for personal use or non-commercial purposes are quite compact when compared to their ancestors or huge copiers used in office settings, however, portability is not a quality usually attributed to them.
The company Zuta labs has recently developed a printer that functions by simply moving along the page. It is basically a small Roomba that prints. This 10 cm by 11.5 cm wonder, allows you to print in grayscale anywhere, providing you have access to a flat surface with no size limit to the printing surface. With a rechargeable battery and a page yield of up to 1000 pages , this printer is useful for people who need to print while on the go or for those who rarely print and want to save space. However, be patient, printing in standard letter format takes 40 seconds, or about 1.3 pages per minute.
The project was funded on Kickstarter and the first consumer prototypes are scheduled for early 2015.
Visit their Kickstarter website for more information:
Transform your cell phone into a Polaroid camera
Lifeprint has developed a small printer that brings the convenience and charm of a Polaroid camera into the 21st century. This printer lets you create 3″ x 4″ prints of any photo from Instagram or any other photo editing application instantly. The device is about the size of a book and everything is managed through a mobile application. The process takes approximately 1 minute, and one cartridge can take up to 10 photos.
The first commercial models are planned for the first quarter of 2015. For more information: http://lifeprintphotos.com/
Letâ€™s face it, many of the documents we print are read once and then quickly disposed of; often within a day. Maybe you have a document which you would prefer to read on paper rather than on a screen, a coupon you need to print, or perhaps you are a secret agent who needs self-destructing communication, ink that disappears by itself after a certain time can be very useful in a wide range of situations. This technology is very environmentally-friendly because it avoids the significant expenditure of energy involved in paper recycling. As we all know, reusing is more effective than traditional recycling methods (for a detailed explanation, see our article on reuse as an alternative to recycling).
Xerox Corp. believe that, in an office, 40% of impressions are for daily or single use. In light of this data, Xerox is developing a system where a special paper can be printed by exposure to certain wavelengths of light. These impressions disappear of themselves in 16 to 24 hours and can be instantly erased by exposing them to heat. This technology would save a lot of paper and energy; you just careful not file the documents near the radiator.
For more details: http://www.xerox.com/innovation/news-stories/erasable-paper/enus.html
This is all fine and good, but Xerox is known primarily for its use in offices, and the price for this new technology may not be conducive for domestic use. Researchers at the Chinese University of Jilin are working on a similar technology that could be adapted for the home. The printer cartridges will use water-treated dyes that react with water. The “Waterjet” printer prototype prints in four colors with comparable print quality to inkjet – the ink last about 22 hours before fading. Their tests show that the page can be reused up to 50 times and this technology also opens the way for water pens for temporary hand-written documents.
For further details: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140128/ncomms4044/full/ncomms4044.html
Un-Print your page
For those who would like to keep records more than a day, but still want to reuse paper, Toshiba and other manufacturers have developed removable printing. The Toshiba model uses a special type of toner that can be removed with very high temperatures. This machine is rather an integrated printer module capable of sorting pages based on whether they can be reused or not and scan documents before deleting. Using this module, the paper may be used 5 times and color printing is possible. However, only printed documents with this particular type of toner can be reused.
Another model uses the same kind of technology, but with ink sensitive to UV light and a UV integrated in the printer. This machine is much more compact, but again only erases prints made specifically with this technology. Ink cartridges sensitive to UV rays may also be very expensive and may be more difficult to recycle or manufacture as compatible models.
A more universal solution is being developed by researchers at Cambridge University. The technology allows for removal of toner without damaging the paper with laser pulses. The wavelength are absorbed by the dark toner of the printed areas and pulverized without affecting the rest of the paper. According to the researchers, this innovation may be up to 20 times more energy efficient than traditional recycling methods. This technology is still in the experimental phase and there is still no approximate commercial release date.
For more information on this innovative process, check out their website: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/122415-the-laser-unprinter
Of course, none of these machines will erase annotations. So avoid highlighting or handwritten notes if you want to reuse the paper.
Skip the tray reloading, and get Stack-ed
More fascinating than actually practical, “Stacked”, by Japanese designer Yamamoto Mugi, is a compact inkjet printer without the paper trays. It measures just over 30cm long, 40cm wide and 5cm high and therefore uses much less space and materials than any printer currently on the market . The printer is placed on a stack of paper and prints on the first page of the stack by passing through the mechanism, which then deposits it on top of the printer for easy access to your printed documents. This lightweight printer is much more visually appealing than ordinary office machines and it will certainly be fascinating to watch it pass through a stack of paper. For now, it is only a prototype; Yamamoto says that he is currently working with engineers to improve the product for mass distribution.
Designer’s Website: http://www.mugiyamamoto.com/stack/
Print only what you need
Another compact printer, focusing on the practical side this time; the Cocodori sold by King Jim can make prints the size of a receipt, with the added bonus of an adhesive back. This device comes with software that lets you select the part of the screen you want to print. Need the address of a restaurant? No need to print the entire page. Same for information contained in an email. If you need to print on a full page too large for the little information that you really need, this saves paper and you can use the print as a post it, to ensure that you do not lose it. The thermal printing technology is the same used for cash register receipts, so there is no replaceable cartridges, you must simply change the roll once it is exhausted.
The Cocodori printer is already available for purchase; unfortunately the manufacturer’s website is currently only in Japanese.
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